What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Before we explain what is at the origin of the painful condition called plantar fasciitis, we first have to understand what plantar fascia is:
- Plantar Fascia is the connective tissue that supports the arch of your foot. It is basically a broad structure that runs from your Achilles tendon up to your toes. The plantar fascia evolves with age and as you get older, the connecting fibers around it slowly loosen and dissolve.
Plantar Fasciitis occurs for several reasons. Whatever the reasons are, which we will discuss in detail, symptoms are painful inflammation, morning foot pain and general discomfort when stretching, walking or running. Simply said, the inflammatory process that occurs in the plantar fascia is called Plantar Fasciitis.
Research reports show that 10% of the population suffers from some sort of a benign or serious form of Plantar fasciitis over a lifetime. In the US, over 2.5 million Americans suffer from the condition every year. The reasons are multiple:
- High body mass index. Being overweight today is generally defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or more. The BMI is a measured by taking a person’s weight whilst taking account of their height. Obesity is often defined as having a BMI of 30 and more. The point here is that a high body mass index puts considerable pressure on all the joints in knees and ankles but also on a person’s foot and it’s arch, often resulting in Plantar Fasciitis.
- Athletes and runners in particular. Plantar Fasciitis is oven described as the runners’ disease. Very often runners’ hard training results in their feet being overworked with too many miles on hard surface like like road running. That’s why sufferers are very often marathon runners. But also athletes in general often put too much weight and pressure on their feet leading to their plantar fascia being overworked and overstretched. What happens in effect is that their plantar fascia, which in essence reacts like any other muscle, grows too much and too quick and is not stretched enough to maintain its usual flexibility.